Ineos Grenadiers have officially announced that Rod Ellingworth, the team’s deputy principal, will be leaving the team.
Rod Ellingworth, the coach responsible for the professional growth of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, and Bradley Wiggins, as well as a key contributor to the period of British dominance in the Tour de France, has departed from the Ineos Grenadiers squad.
On Friday evening, the British team, owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, announced that Ellingworth will be departing. “The Ineos Grenadiers have confirmed that Rod Ellingworth, the deputy team principal, will be leaving at the end of the year. No additional comments will be made at this time.”
As Team Sky and then Ineos Grenadiers, the team exerted a tight control on men’s professional cycling for nearly a decade, winning the Tour de France seven times between 2012 and 2019. They also won the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España and countless other major European races.
Previous reports indicated that Ellingworth had officially stepped down, but Ineos Grenadiers chose not to address the situation. However, the 51-year-old’s leadership approach has been questioned in 2023, as the team once again did not perform well enough to contend for first place in the Tour de France.
Thomas nearly won the 2023 Giro d’Italia, but was beaten on the second to last stage by Primoz Roglic from the Jumbo-Visma team due to a lackluster time trial.
In July, Carlos Rodríguez of Spain finished fifth overall in the Tour de France, making him the highest placed rider on the team. However, in the final Grand Tour of the season, the Ineos Grenadiers did not have a rider in the top 30. Before the Vuelta began, Ellingworth had expressed a goal of placing at least one rider on the podium.
Recently, the team has seen a departure of skilled members and has been unsuccessful in recruiting established champions like Remco Evenepoel, the current world time trial champion, and Giro victor, Roglic, who chose to join Bora-Hansgrohe instead of Ineos Grenadiers. Another member, Tao Geoghegan Hart, who won the Giro in 2020, has also left the team and joined Lidl-Trek.
Ellingworth had been a part of the British team since its establishment in 2009 and had a long-standing professional connection with David Brailsford, who is currently the performance director for British Cycling and the team principal for Team Sky and Ineos Grenadiers.
Following a short break working with the Bahrain-McLaren team, Ellingworth came back to assume full responsibility for Ineos Grenadiers in 2021, while Brailsford shifted his focus to oversee Ratcliffe’s involvement in various other sports, including potentially Manchester United.